Best of L.A.

10 Best Hot Dogs in Los Angeles

Comments (0)


Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Chili cheese hot dog at Larry's - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Chili cheese hot dog at Larry's
For a town whose cultural and culinary landmarks are two hot dogs -- Pink's, for better or worse, and the Dodger Dog, also for better or worse -- the hot dog nonetheless is greatly overshadowed by its other half, the hamburger. While there may not be as many great hot dogs as there are great hamburgers in Los Angeles, they are out there, scattered across town; you could give yourself a tour of the city, really, just trying to visit them all. From the classic hot dog stands that abound on the edges of L.A. proper to the newer joints creating a new breed of dog with their hefty toppings, here are 10 of the top dogs in L.A.

click to enlarge Tommy's chili dog - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Tommy's chili dog
10. Tommy's:

Tommy's chili is a flame-orange concoction that, no matter how many napkins you have at the ready, will inevitably leave its mark somewhere on your face, shirt or shoes. It's the chili standard by which others are judged; indeed, depending on whether it's 1 p.m. or 1 a.m., the hot dog may be considered just a vessel for the chili. Which is just fine, because though the hot dog itself is good, it's the chili ladled lovingly and dripped deliciously that makes this hot dog a city institution. 2575 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 389-9060.

click to enlarge Let's Be Frank hot dog at Golden State Cafe - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Let's Be Frank hot dog at Golden State Cafe
9. Let's Be Frank:

All the dogs at Let's Be Frank are nitrite-, nitrate- and hormone-free, and all are sourced from sustainable farms. The Frank Dog, for example, is 100% California grass-fed beef, and the Brat Dog is a heritage pork bratwurst. That the dogs also are delicious is almost a bonus. Let's Be Frank serves hot dogs from a farmhouse red cart at Helms Bakery in Culver City, and makes weekly stops at Silver Lake Wine. For a complete experience, though, grab one at Golden State Cafe, where it's on the menu every day, as are the fat sweet-potato fries and nice, crisp craft pints to wash it all down. 426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 782-8331.

click to enlarge Larry's Chili Dog - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Larry's Chili Dog
8. Larry's Chili Dog:

On a balmy January weekend, there was a woman dressed as Xena, on a lunch break from a nearby fan convention, eating a chili cheese dog at Larry's. She got a bit of chili on her chakram, but no matter; she wiped it off, threw her trash away and got back in line to order another one. "They don't have any good food there," she explained. The man in line in front of her, who works on the Warner Bros. lot, nodded. "You did good with the chili dog." Xena nodded and thought for a second. "I'm going to bring one back for my Gabby," she decided, and ordered two dogs to go. The Warrior Princess, a true hero to the last. 3122 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, (818) 842-0244.

click to enlarge Jeff's Gourmet Sausages - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Jeff's Gourmet Sausages
7. Jeff's Gourmet Sausages:

Jeff's has a large number of sausages on its menu, so it's easy to scan right past innocuous listings for hot dogs and instead get stuck on items like mergez and boerewors sausages. But you'd be remiss if you did miss the all-beef and jalapeno franks: these are simple, great hot dogs, both kosher and made on-site, like everything else at Jeff's. They are hidden in plain sight, but after you have one, you'll never look past them again. 8930 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 858-8590.

Turn the page for #6, etc...

Related Content

Now Trending


  • Daw Yee: Mission of Burma
    L.A. has a very small pool of Burmese restaurants; among them, Daw Yee does not boast the most extensive menu. Nonetheless, Daw Yee, in Monterey Park, is fascinating for one big reason — namely, that it gives L.A. something unusual: a Burmese restaurant that caters to younger diners.
  • The Year in L.A. Food (So Far)
    We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.